Narrowboat Ezri – How Things Work Maybe ?

With the 2017/18 football season drawing to its close, there two games left, one Sunday the other middle of the following week. That means a little more cruising, further down the Macclesfield and back on to the Trent and Mersey, but and I still going have to make sure I am in walk distance to the nearest train station. As I down to work a few other things that are taking place at the Manchester City Stadium.

How I want it to is almost the identical way it normally works, Starting at Furness Vale I get the train into Manchester walk from the station to work do my shift and getting then the train home to Ezri, then with the free days more her along the canal. That’s a simple thing to do when the football is in the afternoon or early morning even the European championship matches can just about be done, as long they don’t end up being things like extra time and penalties. As the last train is at 10 past 11 at night.

However 99% of the concerts that happened at Manchester City Stadium have a curfew of 11 o’clock or 10 o’clock add a hour to make sure everyone has left then we can go home ourselves. That takes the whole thing to 12 midnight and one missed train a long walk to Ezri in the dark 5 hours plus.

I could move Ezri into the the center of the city to new Islington Marina/moorings which I have done in the past it cuts down the walk to Ezri to five minutes no really five minutes, I would be doing that this year to but for three things.

One) the last information I have on new Islington Marina it’s that the permanent residence there the middle of a dispute with Manchester Council about the building work that is taking place around them. Which I don’t want any part of

Two) Cost, as new Islington Marina is run by urban splash development there is a small fee. Nothing really excessive but it would feel like spending my money before I had earned it and as I intend to take out of the water this year for blacking and pay for a new BSS I do need to save.

Three) Marple Locks, are still under repair as when they came to begin the winter moorings one of the wall of the Lox halfway Up caved In on them and they had to basically rebuild the whole thing. Now the latest news on the reopening the locks May 25th one day after I start work on concerts (running of 5 days in a row) so unless Ezri can move on her own there is no way we can make into the center of Manchester.

I am quite sure of a workable solution yet, I can move towards Marple and there are two places I can be which would cut down the commute and hopefully I wouldn’t miss the train. But if I go beyond Marple the time both ways get stretched somewhat considerably. it does make the walk 3 hours if I miss the train.

But that’s all the boring stuff when that’s all taken care of I plan to start small snapshot blogs and vlog 10 minute reads about were Me and Ezri are simple history bits or trip vlogs and if the weather is bad I have another idea which is just a bit of fun.

Anyway that’s how me and Ezri are doing I think that covers about everything. But for now thank you for reading and see all soon.


Narrowboat Ezri – Hello And Welcome Back

I guess that this blog is more of a reintroduction, So Hi, welcome aboard my name is Martyn and for the past most 3 years I have lived on a 35 foot narrowboat named Ezri.

We have together with help (me following learning and watching) traveled from Blue Water Marina Thorne in Doncaster to Castleford Junction. And in a second convoy made it to Dewsbury Junction. Where then single handedly I made it Sowerby Bridge to be joined by my Dad and brother as we when though Tuel Lane Lock. Then I headed to want I believed to be journey’s end but was in fact no place for anykind of boat so I turned around and headed backwards to Littleborough. Were we got stuck first by the winter flooding and then by someone leaving the lock gate open in center of Rochdale which put Ezri on the bottom of the canal for two day’s.

But with my Dad’s help in the end we made it into Manchester, spending three weeks in the center of the city until making our way on to the Peak Forest and finding a “home” mooring, And so at the start of January last year my Dad and I set out on 100 mile round trip passing though Macclesfield, Congleton, Middlewich, finally Northwich, the Anderton Boat Lift and a little trip on the River Weaver. Ending in December back at “home”

A more detailed description and reflections of the journey and adventures from the very start can be found dotted around the whole of this blog as well as some links to the videos I took at the time.

Well that’s to cut down simple version of the Ezri Narrowboat story and it misses out all kinds of things like the people who helped me on those few days, the place I have seen, a myriad of wonderful things, and I still finding out and learning and I hope you can join me and Ezri as we discovery together.

I don’t do the whole YouTube thing when and if I do the videos I upload are just raw five/ten minute things just as the world was at that place and time. I like to write and if that’s your thing please take a look at the rest of the blog. I think that covers about everything. But for now thank you for reading and see all soon.

Narrowboat Ezri – The Road To Romiley Part Two Or Traffic, Tunnels and Trains

So the rain stopped and the sun came out, I once again moved the coal box and wood planks into the front of Ezri so her weight would be right, I did want to add the wood box to but Dad said the three things would be fine.

Then I removed her front chain but kept the center rope tied, Dad held it as I undid the end chain. He took his place as we made the right turn on to the Peak canal heading down towards Marple.

Five minutes later we stopped but just because of the lift bridge, I tied Ezri up and waited, you see a lift bridge like a swing one everthing is on the worng side, the tie are always on the opposite side to the mechanism which moves the bridge. So single handed boats have a hard time, that why I have huge front rope.

But I am getting off the point, Dad did the bridge and I slow took Ezri though he dropped the bridge and got back on, the last time we headed down this way Ezri blow her engine so I was feeling little tense, but when we past under the frist high road bridges I begain to relax just a little but even watchful of a place to pull.

We had done about three high bridges when I started to notice something as we travled under Ezri slowed down I didn’t touch her throttle but she just did ever so slowly, she didn’t stop, but I didn’t like the feeling.

Dad sat at the front being look out and told me about the floating tree roots and I asked him to lift one or two low hanging branches out of the way, we had just done such a manoeuvre when another boat came towards us, Now can never remember if I am to move to the left or the right.

i slowed Ezri down, and pulled to right the other boat went to the left and we past each other nicely, it was the day boat from Portland and full of Kids on a trip, I moved Ezri back into the middle, I was still thinking about the weight so I asked my Dad if he could sit on the right hand side, which didn’t really make much of a difference but just felt it did.

We past under the M67 motorway a wide high tunnel just as came to the town of Hyde, and watched as the industrial landscape changed to open fields and then back small housing estates

We’ve done a lot tunnels like that one since leaving the small towns as we traveled down into Manchester and then up the Ashton, So a tunnel is just a tunnel right?

No not your life I knew there would be two more but how far way or how long they were I couldn’t remember, The first one was Woodley I had just time switch on Ezri’s light as we entered and slowed her engine.

As you enter Woodley tunnel you can’t see the end Ok you can but only just for the three minutes before enter it and then you have to duck down so you don’t hit your head, but don’t think you can just set you tiller and push tought, because the tunnel has a very small bend in it and a tow path on one side.

I am glad we took the top off the chimney as the we touched the roof more than once, and touced to side a few times as well, leaving tunnel was such a relief. i didn’t notice the shape bend as we made it though Woodley but Ezri stayed level and all was forgiven.

We were going nicely along still recoving from the tunnel when we saw another boat comming towards us so I moved to my right so hey could past but unlike to last boat he didn’t slow down just carried on comming, I was luckly the cannel was wide at that ponit.

By this time I had no idea were I was or the time of day, I had left all the toys (my phone and my cheep gopro) in my bag on my sofa bed I didn’t want to ask Dad to start messing about finding them, so we press on.

As we went along I noticed that the CRT had put new metal anchor barrier all the way a long bank so if I needed to stop I could. But I knew the trip was to get just outside Marple, I had that pass though my head as I noticed yet another boat, but this time the cannal was narrow so I had to almost stop to let them past.

Then just as I was about to pull away there was second boat this time with lighr on which frist I didn’t understand, I stayed were I was and let it pass, but as we made our way on it became clear why.

The trees had closed in and there was a mist around the entrance to Romiley tunnel even before we had reached Ezri’s light was back on and she was slowing down, unlike Woodley, Romiley has no tow path and is a little wider, but the head room is still too short and you can’t look to your right or left to see because all there is black..

I didn’t hit the side or even touch roof this so thar was good, but I srill didn’t have any idea were I choses our stopping place, I just knew if I go over Marple Aqueduct that I had gone to far, buta few mniutes later I heard to train go by knew to second I saw it on my left I was in the right place.

A row of trees later and we were there, I floated into the side a good boat lenght infornt of a lovely boat and within minutes had Ezri chained up and safe and as we did yet more traffic came towards us this time and working CRT boat.So in total we meet four boats comming towards us so it quet the littel traffic lane, 

I said before that I had work to following day and not having my work stuff on boat it would be much simpler if I came back  (his house) for the night went to work then back to Ezri the following day, As it was almost five in the afternoon, Dad had come by tram so that would a two hour trip back home.

I locked up Ezri did two more things then we headed to Marple railway station, a little bonus of the rain ride into Manchester was the fact you can look down to cannal and see the boat there.So I saw Ezri one last time as we headed in Manchester.

When we get there rush hour just about started so the mad sea of people all trying to get home and loud diesel engines was a bit shocking after the quiet leisurely pace of the canal trip. By the time we did reach ‘home’ it was half past seven at night.

Ps at no ponit did we see Bing Crosby, Bob Hope or Dorothy Lamour on this particular road but I don’t think there much of a rhyme to be had out Romiley .

Narrowboat Ezri – The Road To Romiley Part One Or Ezri and The Deluge.

I have done my new engine check list, worked out what weight I need to make Ezri feel level in the water, counted 20 and turned Ezri’s engine over.But still I can’t move because of all things rain, which for the last two days has been pouring down in huge sheets.

There have been the odd five minutes which I have been able to run my checks, place my coal and wood box outside, even have something to eat but the very minute that engine turns over down comes the rain I even took one of new chains off

Now I don’t mind getting a little wet, but the road to Romiley is a two hour trip and with the coal and wood box banging around in the front of Ezri I need someome make sure they stay level so I need crew, not only for that but the only lift at the start of Peak.

Not having Bing Crosby, Bob Hope or Dorothy Lamour to help on this particular road, I have my dad to help, but as I wrote before on the way here we were blined by the rain and both got the flu. So we both don’t want that again.

I am working Wednesday so Ezri has to be moved by then, I have alway tried to have a 24 hour window so if anything goes worng I could shut Ezri down in a safe place and still get to work even if ment being at my dad’s over night.

The thing is that moving Ezri on to the top of Peak for even 12 hour is a little unsafe, Andy said when he moved Ezri from there the other week one her pins had been taken up even with another boat near by also there are no ties on the Huddersfield narrow side of the junction. 

And after want I went thought to get off the Rochdale I am lothed to leave Ezri anywere that doesn’t have a place for mooring chain.

Narrowboat Ezri – Carry Weight

I have spent the last few days off Ezri because she was being refited after the engine rebuild, with new pipe work, new water cap and totally new exhaust pipe. And not only that but I found out she’s to light in the water.

That is to say the weight of her engine makes her prop and propeller drag in the water to much so she picks up all kinds of crap, which in turn put a huge strain on everything, Andy’s work is over Ezri runs, and runs well (she’s back at the Junction) but for me the rebuild is not over just yet.

I have make her heavy, now without removing my bed and ripping up Ezri’s floorboards to play with the ballast (if there is any) the simple solution is to make Ezri’s front the same weight as the back. 

How am I going to do this, by add three new bulk heads in the front well and with the addition of a few weights in the gas locker that should lift Ezri up and proved me with some more space for wood, coal and extra water.

Being away from Ezri for any length of time is an odd feeling, the best way I can explain it is like leaving half of yourself out there on towpath, so I want do most of this work when I am on her, so to move around the network I have do a little bit of a work around, placing my heavy coal and wood boxes, space oak wood planks and a lead weight in the well at the front.

So when I get down into Marple Junction, I can work her and still move around, from the Peak Foresr to the Macclesfield and even start bloging again and with a new bit of tech may even post a few videos on you tube.